Disclaimer: Ere, what's your bleedin' game?
A/N: So here we go, ladies and gentlemen. The sequel to my immensely popular and orgasm-inducing story, Wastelands of Time. We'll start things slow, comparatively speaking, and build up to the overall essence of what this story will entail. It won't merely be a move to kill Voldemort. Sure, that'll be part of it, but there will be other major plot points, as well. Badass and sexy plot points, of course. You all know the drill by now - I write, you read, you review, I write some more. This prologue is more of a recap and general catch-up from Wastelands. I strongly suggest reading Wastelands of Time before you attempt to read this story, otherwise you're going to feel a touch out of place.
Harry Potter and the Heartlands of Time
Prologue – Back In Black
When you've just emptied two barrels of a shotgun into
the head of your favourite bartender, it's a pretty
good bet that happy hour's over.
"Fuck it, and please, do your worst."
Struggling to make a difference, I had unmade the world. And the most important things are the hardest to say, yes, as hard as being alone.
Nothing harder, boss, so please, do your worst. An oddest feeling of remembrance aside, seldom seen and never heard, desecrated hope became a clock on the face of hell.
You need to remember every scar, and that nobody likes clowns at midnight.
But then so do we all, here and there, caught in desperate webs of regard and conflicting agenda, spurned on and on forever by the faceless grief of regret.
Keep running, Harry. For all of our sakes, don't you stop running!
The game had changed.
There's just something about you that pisses me off.
It had been two weeks since my rather abrupt return from Atlantis. Two weeks since I had piloted the Reminiscence into Hogwarts and two weeks since I had fled to Australia, seeking for reasons foreign to me, a glimpse of a girl I had once loved centuries ago.
Her name was Tessa… she mattered.
I didn't know how or why.
Two weeks since my battle against the Dark Lord and his demon entourage in the skies above London. The damage, even now, barely contained by the Ministry Obliviators. Two weeks since fabled, long-lost Atlantis had emerged screaming from the murky depths of time, crushing Blackpool and defying all reason in daring to still exist at all.
That city should have been ash. Dust in the wind, boss, and fuck it all. I didn't know what I was going to do about that, or the millennia-old Atlanteans I had sealed away beneath a dome of impenetrable time magic, but these things had a way of sorting themselves out.
Usually with fire. Lots and lot of fire. Because sometimes – hell, most times – salvation and damnation are the same thing.
Two weeks since a shard of eternity, a sliver of the Infernal Clock, had fused with my heart, granting me a strange and… terrifying… command of faux-time. Two weeks since I had lost a hand and replaced it with a mythril construct. Two weeks the Ministry had been hunting for me, bombarding me with owls and Hit-Wizard retrieval squads. I'd redirected the owls' tracking magic and the Hit-Wizards never got close.
Two weeks since Tonks had fled with Jason Arnair. I had word she had taken him to St. Mungo's and that, despite the horrendous wound that had nearly cleaved the man in half, she had saved his life.
Two weeks of the same old shit, really. It was hard to get excited about all the nonsense after so long. Yet now there was something new…
Two week since I had seen Fleur. Beautiful strawberries and fresh rainfall. The woman carrying my child.
My impossible child.
Stranger things have happened.
No, I guess not.
September 16th, 12:24 and thirty-eight seconds, if the clock in my head was to be believed. It was a warm day, the last vestiges of a hot summer, and I walked among the people of London invisible – just a face within the crowd – along Oxford Street and into The Strand.
I wanted a passionfruit gelato for lunch. "Geelato," I said aloud, to no one in particular.
The city had been devastated in the attack a fortnight ago. But, as always, the Muggles and the rest of the world were blaming the devastation on exactly what it wasn't. The Ministry had done a swift job, given their usual levels of incompetence, in clearing away the debris and modifying as many minds as they could.
There were plans for breaches of the Statutes of Secrecy of this magnitude. Plans that had, for the most part, worked. It involved modifying the right minds. Muggles in the press and government, within their media and emergency services. Memory charm those with influence and the truth will die.
Even now the rain of deadly bone, alight with the flames of old Atlantis, was being called a freak meteor shower. The unnatural storm and blizzard in the heart of summer was a localised low-pressure front that had developed due to the friction of the meteors against the atmosphere.
For the most part, people were happy to believe in bullshit. Especially when the truth was so terrifying. There was no such thing as the monster under the bed, after all.
Then again, there were those who had seen the reality of that day. Despite the net of magic I had cast across the city, there were always those brave and stupid enough to see the world for what it was. But there were so many conflicting reports that even the truth, had it been widely known, would have been lost within the maelstrom.
So London was still London. As always the city would recover. Burn it to the ground, suffocate it with plague, bomb it to all hell and back, and London would survive.
I strolled in the sun, dressed in my best, smiling at everything and nothing. It had been two weeks. Already plans were underway. I was a wanted man, a fugitive of almost every magical government on the planet. Most of the last two weeks had been spent constructing a base of operations, equipped with all the scotch and fancy suits I'd need to save the world.
Of Voldemort, there had been nothing. I knew where he was. He knew that I knew where he was. But right now we were merely moving our pieces into place. He trying to understand the power gained in Atlantis, and I trying to understand all that had changed this time around.
Fleur. Sweet, special Fleur Delacour. She was in France, in her family home. I hoped she stayed there, safe and well. I hadn't quite worked out what I was going to say to her, but for now the extensive ward patterns and rune platforms I had placed around her property would have to suffice.
There was so much to do, and so very little time.
And this being the last time, the final toss of the dice, then the outcome – for good or for ill – had to mean something. The little details had to matter. I would need to tell my friends, my few allies, of the very nature of my existence.
The twisted, broken, sordid nature of a man cast naked against the impossible might of the Infernal Clock. A might I had now bested, that resided in my heart, for all the trouble it was worth. Who to tell?
Ron and Hermione, of course. Neville, too. They deserved to know – to choose to fight with me or run fleeing from the putrefied insanity that marred my soul. If it were me I'd run. I'd run screaming into the nearest bottle of scotch.
I came to a stop alongside the road, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly.
How best to tell them though? How could I breach the topic at all? Any logical or reasonable explanation would disappear like steam caught in sunlight under the weight of swift disbelief, followed by desperate denial and an all-consuming grief.
It had been that way before, the few occasions I had told them of my abusive time-travel. It would be that way again, unless I could find a way to make them understand. To make them see that it had been necessary.
That all the pain and the violence, the endless suffering and the lives I had taken – time and time again – amounted to something more than a rotten pile of corpses stretching back a thousand years in my mind.
Dark Lord Potter, they would call me…
In the end, I guess, there was only one real way to explain it.
Only one way my friends, in their innocence, could possibly understand the sacrifice and the suffering.
I entered WH Smith's and approached the girl behind the counter. "Hey, there. That's a lovely dress. Any chance I can get half a dozen copies of the movie Groundhog Day, please?"
Nice suit, kid, but you see, it's not about redemption anymore. You long ago forfeited any right to that.
A/N: I was going to hold off on this for another month or so, until I had a shave more free time, but as those of you who are writers will know, sometimes you just gotta fill that blank page with something. Random insanity and poor sexual innuendos usually. Heh. So yeah, review, if you please. Or not. This is just a warm up, after all. Expect big things from here on out.
Also, check out my author profile here and sign-up for the DLP C2. It is a collective of amazing - read the best - stories in the fandom. Mine are there, of course, despite my obvious modesty. Seriously, join it. We're heading for #1 on the list and your support is necessary. What have you got to lose? Nothing, that's what. Yet the potential gain is significant. Nothing but quality fics, so join, damn it, join or I'll turn this into a Harry/Draco slash fic.
With soul bonding.